I got the guys together for a game of Indonesia. My original idea was to play two games, but that was a bit too much to ask. Our game took hefty three hours and 40 minutes, so we didn’t have either time or energy to play a double match.
It was still quite an interesting game. Here’s what I learned: four-player Indonesia is both different and better than the five-player game. With five, the eras tend to be pretty fast, in my experience at least. With four, we still had fast era A and fast era C (particularly as Ilari wanted to end the game early, a good move for him in that situation), but the era B was definitely longer. We also saw some real city development and ended the game with one size three city and two size two cities. That made the game more interesting.
I lost, and it was an embarrassing defeat. The cause for the defeat was the same as in my first game at Helcon: lack of companies to operate. I did well in mergers, selling my companies for good money, mostly, but I failed to own a real moneymaker. At the same time Ilari and Olli operated competing rubber companies which both made some good money and Manu had both a firm grip on shipping and a very lucrative siap faji operation.
Shipping was key, as usual. Manu had strong shipping power with two large shipping companies, but we did build up an alternative shipping network which went to Olli in a bloody bidding contest. He owned a bigger share of the companies than I and was thus able to bid a lot more than I could. The shipping company was sold with a price of over 40 rupias per ship, which is a lot considering their base value is 10 rupias. Olli was pretty close with Ilari for second place (I don’t remember which one won, but the difference was ten or twenty rupias), so those ships didn’t mean an instant ticket to fortune for him.
Manu made a fortune with his ships, but I wouldn’t call the siap faji company weak, either. My goal in the next game is to come up with either siap faji or a rubber company that’s going to make me a lot of money! Oh, and also fight for the shipping even more. I’m probably going to fix up a three-player game in FinDipCon in May; I want to see how this beast behaves with three. From now on, I know I’m going to prefer four to five, even though the game might actually be longer with four than five (more turns, thus more shipping, which is the most time-consuming part of the game).
We also played Mykerinos. You’ve read my review; I won’t go into the mechanics. It was an interesting experience — not quite as fast as I’d wish, but I can see it go faster with a bit of experience. Ilari dominated the game by collecting a huge bunch of patrons. I was a bit surprised by Olli’s weak showing: he had five yellow patrons worth five points each, but that kind of set was good for a weak last place. Interesting.
I enjoyed the game, but wasn’t thrilled and unless my opinion changes soon (I’ll probably try the game again in board game club next week), I’ll probably sell it in FinDipCon while it’s still hot.
We finished the evening off with Samurai, which was good, except my play was phenomenal in its weakness. For the record, my plans regarding the buddhas were foiled at least twice, so no wonder I didn’t do well.